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Friday, July 25, 2008

Semi-Organic Gardening Progress..

Earlier in the season I posted about my minimal use of chemicals in my garden. I just thought I'd give a short progress report on that.

Here is all I did this year so far:

for aphids in tomatoes --I used sevin dust lightly just 2 or 3 times while the plants were growing, before there were any ripe tomatoes. I began by treating the ground beneath the tomatoes to keep the ants away--ants and aphids are usually together.

For very tenacious crabgrass I did use roundup to edge the beds and between my onions where it had a huge hold. That worked well, sadly some animal got hold of most of my large onions, but the 5 that survived are fabulous.

This was all early in the season. At this point I haven't had to use any more chemicals at all.

I have a huge abundance of birds in my garden--espeically this year a pair of mated brown thrashers have raised at least 2 clutches of babies. They patrol the veggies quite diligently and I am sure that has made a difference. Robins, wrens and other birds also visit for bugs.

I did try using grape juice to kill slugs--I know the slugs liked it--but I don't know if it killed them as I never found their bodies--I suspect the birds found them all juiced up and ate them.

Right now the main bug problems I have are fire ants--which is an ongoing battle in my yard. We've been spot treating mounds with light dustings of sevin. Earlier we had spread granules all over--but that did not deter them as much as we had hoped.

There are also some flea beatles in the tomatoes. So far the flea beatles are only getting the odd tomato that has been left too long to ripen. Most of the tomatoes have been undamaged. I may do nothing about this--we shall see, it takes watching and waiting to decide that. A bit of mildew is starting to effect my yellow crook neck squash--frankly I've had about enough squash! I may let that go as well. I think it doesn't look serious anyhow.

For fertilizer I did use a minimum amount of 10-10-10 when we tilled the ground. I really credit that for the fantastic tomato harvest, that and the handful of lime I put in each tomato planting hole.

I do not see any problem with my garden that this minimum amount of chemicals has not been sufficient for this year. The birds I think have done their share too and I am very pleased with my semi-organic garden.

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